Kyndle’s ‘Fire Pit’ Sparks New Business Opportunity

HENDERSON, Ky. - Kyndle held it’s first Fire Pit Pitch Contest and Business Expo on Thursday, October, 23 on the first floor of the historic Soaper Building located in Downtown Henderson. The event, sponsored by AT&T, showcased close to thirty local business and their services. 

Kyndle’s first ever Fire Pit Pitch Contest took place during the expo. The contest offered a chance for entrepreneurs who had recently participated in Kyndle’s Entrepreneurship Boot Camp a chance to compete amongst each other for funding and donations that would help with getting their proposed business off the ground. 

The Fire Pit Pitch Contest was won by Entrepreneurship Boot Camp Graduate, AJ Casey. Casey’s proposed business will provide a variety of video services for other businesses and private customers in the Kyndle region. 

“I found the Entrepreneurship Boot Camp experience to be very informative and inspiring. It was great to be surrounded by other hopeful entrepreneurs like myself,” said AJ Casey, Winner of the 2014 Fire Pit Pitch Contest. 

“Earning the support of the judges and those in attendance at the Fire Pit Pitch Contest was an incredible honor. Winning has fueled my ambitions and motivated me to continue pursuing the business goals I have set, “ Casey explained. 

“It all starts with the Entrepreneurship Boot Camp and helping someone who has an idea for a business transform that idea into a business plan,” said Margaret Ridley, Vice President of Business Support for Kyndle and organizer of the Fire Pit Pitch Contest and Business Expo. 

Similar to the popular television series, “Shark Tank”, the Fire Pit Pitch Contest consisted of a panel of judges made up of business professionals with knowledge of what it takes to operate a successful business. Contestants were given five minutes to pitch their business plan in front of the judges and attendees of the Business Expo. After the initial pitch judges were allowed to question the presenter for an additional four minutes. Four of the twenty-two Entrepreneurship Boot Camp graduates competed in this year’s Fire Pit Pitch Contest. 

Judges for this year’s event were; Ellada Hafjisavva, Economic Developer at Vectren and owner of Acropolis Restaurant and Catering, David Scott, retired founder and CEO of both Bancsource and ATM Solutions, Linda Baird from Jim David Meats and Monte Davenport, Independence Bank Loan Officer. 

“It’s great to see the creation of a new business that is thought out and has the potential to be around, serving our region for years to come,” Ridley said. “Kyndle was honored by the great turn out and support. We’re looking forward to the next Entrepreneurship Boot Camp and Fire Pit Pitch Contest and feel this is something we can do for years to come.”

As winner of the Fire Pit Pitch Contest AJ Casey will receive in-kind donations worth over $8000 from the following contributors; IWT, Abba Promotions, Neel Wilson & Clem Attorneys at Law, Kemper CPA Group, Ramada Hotel and Conference Center, Kyndle, Joan Hoffman, and David McGan. 

Food for the Fire Pit Pitch Contest and Business Expo was provided by Golden Corral and Tumbleweed restaurants. Rookies Sports Bar and Grill operated a cash bar during the family-friendly event. 

Kyndle supports small business and entrepreneurs and understands the important role they play in keeping our region’s economy healthy and strong. If you or someone you know is interested in starting a new business or is looking for guidance or assistance with an existing business contact Kyndle today. 

Kyndle can be reached by phone at (270) 826 - 7505, by email at and online at The Kyndle offices are located at 145 N. Main Street, Suite 500, in downtown Henderson. Guests are asked to enter through the 2nd street entrance and to take the elevator to the 5th floor. Margaret Ridley can be reach by email at 

Kyndle would like to thank The Gleaner and Union County First for the use of images throughout this site.